If Kaitlin Bennett wasn’t white, you’d be reading about a dead Black student.
She graduated from Kent State University in Ohio, brought an AR-10 to campus the next day, and posted about gun rights on Twitter:
I have no apologies for my graduation photos. As a woman, I refuse to be a victim & the second amendment ensures that I don’t have to be. pic.twitter.com/5CKmQobrMb
— Kaitlin Marie (@KaitMarieox) May 15, 2018
Having led a rally for campus open carry on a few weeks ago, Bennett said students should be allowed to carry to protect themselves, a message heard over and over at the recent NRA Convention. She also referenced the 1970 shooting at the school that killed four students. The day after graduation, she walked on campus with her family, escorted by a campus officer, to take pictures with the rifle.
She reportedly balked at the idea of her critics saying she had white privilege, and retorted that anyone who said that was racist, during a recent Fox News interview. She is also the President of the school’s chapter of Liberty Hangout, a right-wing media outlet that has been known to promote racism in their posts.
But she had permission from the university to bring that assault weapon to school. What she and so many others fail to recognize is that permission to have a gun doesn’t excuse Black people.
Philando Castile was killed by police in 2016 after he informed them he had a licensed firearm in the car. And, in 2017, Siwatu-Salama Ra, a black pregnant woman was jailed for protecting her family from deadly assault with an unloaded firearm. Gun rights are very different for Black people than they are for whites. Even the 19 year old Black female student, Aliah Kimbro knows that. She told Refinery29 that it was hard for her to support Bennett knowing her own gun rights aren’t safe.
Yet crime statistics say that police are innocent when it comes to the situations with Black people being killed, assaulted, or jailed. CNN Reported that between 2005 and 2017, 35% of police were convicted of murder or manslaughter, while the rest were pending or not convicted, according to work by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Almost one quarter of the people killed by police last year and this year already were Black. Of the Hispanic victims, 18% were killed last year and 12% this year. People of color are being preyed upon.
Yet Bennett says her gun control is taking away her rights to protect herself. Would she prepare to use that rifle if some police officer wrongfully attacked a Black fellow college student Probably not. So, by her logic, then all Blacks should be able to carry weapons.
Let’s see the NRA get behind that notion.